WARNING: This article may contain spoilers.
My love of The X-Files series can be traced back to its beginning episodes. The storylines drew me in every week, until the last couple of seasons, when the writing fell a little flat for me. I have vivid and distinct memories of specific episodes, like when the Cigarette Smoking Man (played by William B. Davis) and several other government officials were deciding who will win the Superbowl. To say I was looking forward to The X-Files revival would be an understatement.
On Monday night, I found myself sitting in my living room, surrounded by people who had never watched The X-Files. I tried to get my older teens to watch it with me, and while my daughter stuck it out for about twenty minutes, my son declined before it even started. I was startled that my husband had never watched it before. You think you know a person…
I loved the recap in the beginning. While The X-Files was one of my favorite shows back in the day, it’s been awhile since I last watched it. The complete seasons are on my Netflix list, but I’m still catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. (Hush. I’m a mom of five. I only get to watch Netflix on my lunch hour.) Anyway, after the recap, the original theme music started, and I have to admit, I got goosebumps. I was so looking forward to seeing Scully and Mulder reunite!
And then I was disappointed. First, the plot line was predictable. I felt like I’d seen the episode before. The acting seemed flat, and I really wasn’t a fan of how Scully had been written. The dialogue hinted at a level of intimacy between Scully and Mulder that just wasn’t there. They seemed like two people who ran into each other at a PTA meeting—slightly standoffish and not connected.
I found it implausible that Scully went back to the FBI just like that. She’d been gone for years. No doubt she’d had some contact with Mulder. She mentions in the beginning of the first episode that she’d been able to get in touch with Mulder when even Skinner, the assistant director of the FBI, couldn’t. And why is Scully covered in blood after performing an operation? Is attaching ears to the sides of children’s heads really that gory or does Chris Carter think the viewers want more blood?
I liked the second episode better. But since this was just a six-episode miniseries, I expected the episodes would be more connected. I’m holding out hope that we’ll see some connection woven into future episodes. I was a little confused by flashbacks of William, and when Scully said, “He’d be fifteen…” instead of “He is fifteen…” I thought we were being introduced to something new in the plot. The ending of episode two left me feeling like I was watching a combination of Carrie and Super Friends, where the twins touched hands and their Wonder Twin powers activated for destruction instead of justice.
Despite the parts I didn’t love, I’m still pretty excited to see Scully and Mulder on my TV again. The humor and pop culture references were spot on, and my little fangirl heart was happy to see Cigarette Smoking Man (smoking through his tracheotomy hole) displeased at the X-Files being reopened. In a year that has already seen some iconic losses in entertainment, The X-Files revival gave me some geeky solace. I only hope that as the miniseries continues, we’ll see a return of the great original writing that put The X-Files on the map so long ago.